Study Reveals That Millennials Lack Relationship Skills And Confidence

Study Reveals That Millennials Lack Relationship Skills And Confidence

With the takeover of social media, millennials seem to be losing the ability to date as well as hold high self-esteem.
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These days, the word “millennial” has many negative connotations attached to it. This generation of young adults were born into a world of technology, social media, and speedy devices that can satisfy an array of needs in the palm of one’s hand. Many complain that the millennial generation has lost the ability to interact with others around them face to face. With apps like Tinder, Instagram, Facebook, and an array of other outlets, thousands of college students are able to swipe through and accept or deny other singles around them based on their physical appeal.

This information leads many to ask, “are millennials losing the ability to hold steady relationships?” Is our distance between one another, our isolation and lack of real conversation, diminishing dating? The college “hookup culture” is a major factor of social life on most campuses. If a student isn't browsing for a person to “talk to" through apps on their phone, they maybe instead drinking in a party setting to find a new hookup partner.

When many millennials do eventually find a person that might be worth trying a relationship with, many report getting stuck in a limbo often referred to as the “talking phase.” In this phase, one or both of the individuals in the relationship likes the other person but does not want to commit to them completely. In other words, they want to continue an emotional relationship but also have the ability to hookup with others. It seems as though millennials are not just lacking the ability to make real conversation and meet others through pure human interaction, but lack the desire to have a committed relationship. Does this speak for all millennials? Do we all want to run the other way when commitment comes around?

I wanted to learn more about how millennials were really feeling about relationships and dating. I surveyed over 200 college students, both male and female, ages 18 to 22. What I found suggested that millennials are in fact isolating themselves behind phone screens and finding it difficult to establish meaningful connections with others. 95 percent of students I surveyed reported that they find it difficult to find a relationship. When it comes to looking for a partner, the students' two most common methods were through social media apps like Tinder and Snapchat or by social events that involved drinking. 82 percent stated that they were okay with casual hookup partners and 95 percent felt that it was easier to talk to a possible partner when drunk.

What do all of these numbers suggest about millennials? On the surface, it seems as though we are uncommitted, unable to hold real conversations, and too reliant on our digital devices to guide us through life. And there is more...

Millennials may be relying on social media to misrepresent who they are in an effort to find a date. 89 percent of those surveyed said they used social media accounts to make themselves more attractive to possible partners. But how is this making them feel? When I asked how social media impacted these students emotionally, the most common responses were that social media made them feel “insecure,” “pressured to be perfect,” and “anxious.” And while many are casually hooking up, lacking emotional depth or connection, 75 percent of those that were single reported that they wished they could find a real relationship. Out of all surveyed, 95 percent said that their ideal situation in the future was a lifelong, committed relationship.

While these statistics do show that us millennials are not as commitment-phobic as many claim, we have other flaws that need fixing. It seems as though millennials are masking the desire for connection and relationships with quick fixes like drinking, social media interactions, and “no strings attached” relationships. We are filtering out our insecurities, posting for attention, and making thousands of followers think we are not alone. Instead of gathering together the courage to talk to the cute girl in our class, we are “swiping left and right” on Tinder based on a simple picture and short bio.

So how do we fix this? How do we stop making shallow, short judgements on someone that could actually have been “the one?” The answer is not easy but we can look to our older generations for some guidance. The video "Look Up" directed by Gary Turk delves into this problem.

Look at the amazing relationships that have come out of meeting people organically. We need to stop relying on “likes” and “matches” as a fuel for our self-esteem. Find passions that make you feel whole outside of a screen and engage in activities with like-minded groups of people that make you feel great as you are. Start dating (yes, I mean go out on a real date. Maybe to a movie, with just you two) instead of taking shots together in a crowded bar. The best relationships start as friendships, out of respect and trust, not over a Snapchat conversation.

Most importantly, stay true to yourself. If you keep coming up short with the same types of partners, try changing up your environment. If you have a hobby, look for others with that hobby. If you find yourself relying on the number of likes on a recent post for a mood booster, take a break from social media. If you spend too much time with your head down in a screen of apps and thousands of strangers online, try looking up before you miss out on someone great that just passed you by. We as a generation can do better when it comes to love, dating, and our own self happiness.

Cover Image Credit: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/12190368/No-sex-please-were-teenagers.html

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An Open Letter To My Boyfriend's Mom

A simple thank you is not enough.
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Your son and I have been dating a while now and I just wanted to thank you for everything.

Wow, where do I start? Ever since the day your son brought me into your home you have shown me nothing but kindness. I have not one negative thought about you and I am truly thankful for that. I first and foremost want to thank you for welcoming me with open arms. There are horror stories of mothers resenting their son's girlfriends and I am blessed there is no resentment or harsh feelings.

Thank you for treating me like one of your children, with so much love but knowing exactly when to tease me.

Thank you for sticking up for me when your son teases me, even though I know it’s all in good fun it's always comforting knowing you have someone by your side.

Thank you for raising a man who respects women and knows how to take responsibility of mistakes and not a boy who is immature and doesn’t take responsibility.

Thank you for always including me in family affairs, I may not be blood family but you do everything you can to make sure I feel like I am.

Thank you for letting me make memories with your family.

There is nothing I value more in this world then memories with friends and family and I am thankful you want and are willing to include me in yours. I have so much to thank you for my thoughts keep running together.

The most important thing I have to thank you for is for trusting me with your son. I know how precious and valuable he is and I won't break his heart. I will do everything I can to make him happy. This means more than you could ever imagine and I promise I will never break your trust.

The second most important thing I must thank you for is for accepting me for who I am. Never have you ever wished I looked like another girl or acted like another girl. You simply love and care for me and that’s all I could ever ask. Every person in this world is a unique different person and understanding that means a lot.

The third most important thing I must thank you is teaching me how to one day in the future treat a potential girlfriend that I may interact with as a mother. I am not a mother, but I one day plan to be. If I ever have a son it is because of how you treated me that I am able to be a humble loving mother to this new face that could one day walk into my door. How you have treated me has taught me how I should one day be in the future and I thank you for that.

This may seem all over the place but that’s how my brain gets when I try and thank you for everything you have done for me. It’s all so much and even the little things are so important so I promise my scattered thoughts are all with good intentions and not meant to bombard you. I just want to get the idea across to you that you are important and special to me and everything you do does not go unnoticed.

Sincerely,

Your Son’s Girlfriend

Cover Image Credit: Christian Images and Quotes

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I’m The Kind Of Person Who Is Happiest When I'm In A Relationship, There Is Nothing Wrong With That

Please stop acting like there is.

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There seems to be this odd notion that it's not alright to be the kind of person that prefers being in a relationship to being single. Usually, when I mention to people that I tend to be the happiest when I'm in a relationship, I get met with, "Well. you aren't ready for one yet until you are happiest by yourself" or "That isn't good, you'll always be dependent on someone for happiness then" or even, "Well, if you can't make yourself happy, then you can't make anyone else happy either."

Allow me to clarify a few things here.

First of all, just because I am happiest when I am in a relationship does not mean that I am not happy when I am not in one. I am still capable of being happy outside of a relationship, and I am capable of making myself happy. Generally, on a day to day basis, I'm pretty happy.

The thing is, I'm just in love with love. Even just knowing that there is someone out there that cares so deeply about you that they want to spend a part of their life with you is incredible. To me, there's just no better feeling in the world than having someone that you can share your life with. Sure, coming home from work, making myself my favorite meal and watching some Netflix in bed by myself afterward would be a great way to end a day and would make me happy.

It would make me immeasurably happier, however, to come home from work around the same time as the girl I'm dating does, share stories of how our respective days went while cooking a meal together, and ending the night cuddling in bed watching Netflix together until we fall asleep. Nearly anything I can do by myself that will make me happy can be enhanced by having someone I love with me to share it with.

To counter another point, I am not, nor will I ever be, dependent on someone else to be happy.

As I've mentioned, I'm completely capable of being happy by myself; I'm simply happier when I'm in a relationship. I also tend to be happier than I am normally when I am listening to music and writing. Nobody would ever say that I'm dependent on listening to music and writing or that I shouldn't write a single letter or listen to a single note again until I learn to be even happier without them than I am with them.

I get that some people just like being single and think it's enjoyable. They don't like being tied down or committed to any one person. They like being able to go out and do whatever they want without having to think about anyone at home worrying about them. They don't want to put in the work of having to worry about someone else. I'm not that kind of person. I'll never be that kind of person.

I love being tied down and fully committed to one person, knowing that they are committed to me, as well.

I love having someone that I know cares and worries about me, and that knows I care and worry about them, too. I simply adore being in a relationship, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.

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